About The Flirtations

 
 
     The Flirtations were one of the more active all-girl R&B groups of the mid to late '60s, though they had to go pretty far from home to find their most lasting success. The group had started life as a quartet called the Gypsies, consisting of three sisters, Betty Pearce, Shirley Pearce, and Earnestine Pearce, and Viola Billups, who worked for three years under that name. They then changed to The Flirtations in 1965.
     In 1967, by which time The Flirtations were a trio (without Betty Pearce), the group headed to England. Soul was reaching popularity in the United Kingdom at this time in which Decca Records producer Wayne Bickerton signed the trio with interested. The Flirtations made their British recording debut with 'How Can You Tell Me' in 1967 on the Parrot label.
     The next year, the group moved to Deram Records and released the popular, late-'60s hit 'Nothing But A Heartache.' The single reached success in America as well as England, staying on the charts of Cashbox magazine for weeks in 1969 with a peak at 31.
     For the next decade, The Flirtations built up a following in England, with the trio discovering that the UK was far better for them in music than where they were born in the US.
     After 1972, the group left Deram and signed with Polydor where they were successful with their cover of Marvin Gaye's 'Little Darling.' In 1974, Viola Billups left The Flirtations to pursue a solo career (as Vie and Pearly Gates) and was replaced by Loretta Noble. The group was still performing during the 1980s and beyond releasing a new single, 'Read About It,' on the Passion label in 1986. The group had continued to perform intermittently in some form in the years since.
     The group was recently rediscovered in the disco and Northern soul circuits of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US. In 2007, their hit 'Nothing But A Heartache' was featured in a KFC advertising campaign in the UK.
     In 2009, The Flirtations released their first single in 20 years, 'Roulette' with dance mixes and a music video. The track peaked at No. 10 in Music Week's Commercial Pop Club Chart by December 2009.
     In 2014, The Flirtations' seventies producer Don Hunter and Sam Scott produced the girl's 2015 release, 'Girls'. The record features the greatest hits of the greatest girl groups, including a new recording of 'Nothing But A Heartache.'


 
   


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